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What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication Paperback – October 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Rodmell Press (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930485247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930485242
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ike Lasater is the co-founder, along with John Kinyon, of Mediate Your Life, a training company that helps people build better lives by changing how they respond to conflict. With extensive training in Nonviolent Communication, Ike teaches and coaches individuals and organizations in communication and conflict resolution skills and has trained thousands of people in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has served on the board of directors for the Center for Nonviolent Communication and the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California.

Ike is a former trial attorney for 20 years who co-founded a thriving San Francisco law firm specializing in complex, multiparty commercial and environmental cases. He served for a number of years on the mediation panel for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Ike also co-founded The Yoga Journal magazine. Though based in San Francisco for 35 years, Ike now lives in Connecticut. He has three adult children and one grandchild. To find out more about Ike's work, please visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Tina on October 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love anything written by Judith Hanson Lasater and this book was a very pleasant surprise as it deals with a subject matter that I really read about - Empathy and nonviolent communication.

Ever since I have discovered yoga, I have also tried to listen more to my inner voice and realized just how negative and at times, hurtful, my thoughts can be. I seriously believe that this translates into my thoughts affecting my moods, my body, my spirit and everything outside of me - i.e. how I deal with people and situations.

Reading What We Say Matters was an eye opener and actually confirmed alot of things that I always suspected. I like that the authors compare speech to spirituality and argue that both can be combined in a nonviolent and loving manner. They encourage us to use compassion and to cultivate this compassion in every interaction that we have both with the outside world and with our internal communications.

Written almost from a personal level, the authors share some of their stories and give us englightment as to how to apply a kinder, gentler way in our communications - which starts internally with ourselves.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amy Putkonen on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Imagine if you could purchase the tools needed to gain world peace for only $15? That sounds like a joke, doesn't it? It is my belief that the book entitled What We Say Matters by Dr. Judith and Ike Lasater has the ability to do just that if everyone in the world followed their great suggestions. (That is the tricky part, isn't it? lol....)

What We Say Matters is a very powerful book about the effect our everyday communications have on the world around us. With techniques drawn from their extensive work with NVC, or Nonviolent Communication, Dr. Judith and Ike Lasater bring us through simple techniques that we can use to retrain our communication towards making peace with the people we interact with on a daily basis - especially our intimate connections that we have with our family and friends.

I have been a proponent of conflict resolution communication techniques for much of my adult life but have never come across anything so simple and easy to implement as the techniques displayed within this book. If you find yourself challenged by your dealings with others (honestly, who hasn't?) you should do yourself a favor and read this book.
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Format: Paperback
NOTE: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

This book, written by married couple Judith and Ike Lasater, describes the techniques of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) a method developed by Marshall Rosenberg. The authors begin by introducing the basic concepts of the NVC method, breaking down the process into four simple steps involving observations, feelings, needs, and requests. Specific examples of both feelings and needs are provided, and at the end of each chapter, suggestions are given for ways to practice what you have learned in that section. The volume continues in this basic manner, with the authors presenting additional skills to be used in conjunction with the principle elements of NVC. Some of these added components include making conversational choices, such as giving empathy to ourselves and/or others, and increasing personal awareness.

In the second half of the book, the authors address communication skills in more specific situations, including talking to partners, talking to children/parents, talking at work, and bringing NVC into the world. For the partners section, Judith and Ike are able to provide a unique perspective, using examples from their own marriage. Similarly, in discussing children, the authors acknowledge the challenges they faced within their own family, reflecting on the especially trying toddler and teenage years. I found myself particularly interested in the applications of NVC to workplace situations. In this chapter, Ike focuses on efficiency in communication, not only verbal contacts but also other forms of communication such as e-mail and voice mail messages. Although I found this section useful, I would have liked to have seen some more specific examples.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stephens on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Skillful communication is perhaps a yoga teacher's most valuable asset. With What We Say Matters: Practicing Non-Violent Communication, Judith Lasater and husband Ike Lasater have given us a gem to better light the paths of yoga teachers and students alike. The basic thread of their message is that our language reflects what's happening inside; getting clearer inside about our own thoughts and feelings allows us to engage with others in ways that embody deeper empathetic understanding. Put differently, when we are in our own truth - mindful of who we are, how we feel, and what we need in the present moment - we are more capable of listening to others and honoring their needs.

I had the fortune many years ago to take a number of workshops at with Judith Lasater. In one she spoke eloquently from a place of deep experience about "taking the seat of the teacher," which involves first being honest with ourselves about our intentions and then relating with our students from that place. In What We Say Matters, she and Ike Lasater take this a step further, giving us practical tools for cultivating clearer self-awareness and thereby finding ways of conversing that are consonant with the primary yogic value of non-violence. While I discuss various aspects of student-teacher communication in my book, Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques, the Lasaters' give this topic the more concentrated focus it deserves.

Every yoga teacher should read and re-read this book, do all the workbook exercises, and follow the authors' suggested homework exercises - such as reflective journaling - for exploring their self-awareness and related qualities of communication. I will also recommend this book to all of my students; indeed, it's essential reading for anyone interested in a more peaceful, honest, and happy life.
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